Thursday, January 24, 2008

In Which I Discourse on Morbid Days of Celebration

(This is an old piece, but never-before published. Should it have stayed that way? You be the judge)

July 14 is Bastille Day, or the “French Fourth of July.”[1] While America’s Independence Day is known for men in trucker hats singing “Proud to be an American,” Bastille Day celebrates the classic French values of Liberté, Egalité, and Guillotining. Especially guillotining.

Yes, although technically Bastille Day memorializes the storming of the Bastille, it is mostly remembered for all the neck-severing that followed. No one can sever the hell out of a neck like Frankie Frenchman (“Françoisie”?). Still, we shouldn’t be so hard on our Gallic cousins—that’s so “early days of the Iraq war.” Decapitation is as good a reason to get off work as any, and besides, there are plenty of other...

Holidays Based on Killing

Good Friday: (Date: The Friday before Easter Sunday)

Sure it’s undermined by the “resurrection” thing, but no list of holidays based on killing would be complete without Good Friday. It’s devoted to the killing of one guy, and the guy in question happens to be God.That’s damn impressive. Say what you will about the Romans, but they were dynamite at aqueducts and deicide.

On the downside, Jesus named this his second-least favorite holiday.[2] We quote:

“What? They celebrate the day I died, and they’re calling it Good Friday? I don’t care if it is ironic, like when you call a fat guy ‘tiny.’ It’s just tacky.

-Source: Interview Magazine, “Just a Closer Talk
with Thee.” Oct. 1978

How does one celebrate Good Friday? The traditional Christian ritual is as follows. (1.) Go to TGI Fridays. (2.) Order a platter of the jalepeno poppers. (3.) Consume entire plate. (4.) Repeat until cleansed of sin and/ or money.

MEMORIAL DAY: (Date: the last Monday of May)

Strictly speaking, this holiday is less about killing than remembering the dead. However, without the killing, there would be no-one to remember, no federal holiday, and consequently no reason for Spike TV to schedule 24 hours of James Bond.

This is the day when we remember those who died for our country by getting drunk on Sunday night, grilling beer-soaked pig-flesh, and watching 76.2 hours of The Indianapolis 500. I like to think their rotting corpses would’ve wanted it that way.

NEW YEAR’S DAY: (Date: January 1—duh, genius.)

Although the death of the New Year is largely symbolic (time being a human construct, which would totally blow your mind if you were stoned), don’t kid yourself. New Year’s is more about death than anything by Judas Priest.

I’m not talking about mixing champagne with Jagermeister and choking on regurgitated black-eyed peas (good luck my ass). I’m talking about baby new-year and old man old-year. Sure, baby may look cute in his little “2005” sash, as if he’s just won some pediatric beauty show. But the moment your back is turned, he’ll pee right in front of grandpa 2004’s shaky feet, sending him slipping and sliding until his skull is crushed under Dick Clark’s enormous ball. And so the circle of death continues. Still, don’t worry about baby’s smug smile. The little bastard will get his.

HALLOWEEN (Date: October 31)

*Only applies if you are Michael Myers.

GUY FAWKES DAY (Date: November 5 – England)

Okay, so get this: in the 1600’s, Catholics were persecuted, so a small group plotted to blow up Parliament. They were discovered, and one of the conspirators, Guy Fawkes[3] was arrested beneath the House of Lords, and executed. 400 years later, the English still celebrate by burning him in effigy.

Way to hold a grudge, England! Geez. The modern way of showing disagreement through fire is not by burning some voodoo doll, but a more abstract symbol of the person, like their flag. Since Catholics don’t have a flag, perhaps a symbol of their faith would be appropriate? A burning cross, perhaps? Yes, I see nothing in my research to indicate that doing that would be a bad idea, or offensive to any group or persons.

THANKSGIVING (Date: the fourth Thursday in November)

Thanksgiving is very unpopular in the Turkey community. Then again, what has the Turkey community ever done for us? Turkeys,” we say, “Unemployment is rising, our natural resources are depleted, and our president doesn’t seem to care! Help us!” “Gobble gobble,” they say. Gobble gobble? What kind of answer is that? I say, fuck ‘em.

MURDER DAY (Date: last Monday in February; February 13, Canada)

Probably the least popular of the “manufactured” holidays, Murder Day was developed in an ill-conceived brainstorming session between Hallmark Cards and Sears & Roebuck’s “knives ‘n’ firearms” department, circa 1929. An unmitigated failure, it was nonetheless a special favorite of Ladybird Johnson, who proclaimed the holiday “the killingest day of the year.” She convinced her husband, LBJ, to make it a federal holiday in 1964.

Today, after a rocky start, it has become a cash cow for Hallmark, which enjoys brisk sales the last week of February—beginning on Monday with their popular, “I’m going to gut you like a suckling pig!” line of cards, and ending that Friday with their even more popular, “I’m sorry I gutted your [family member] like a suckling pig,” line of cards. A spin-off, “Suicide Day” was less successful, owing to lack of word-of-mouth from card buyers.

SECRETARY’S DAY (Date: last Wednesday in April)

Also known as Administrative Professional’s Day.

[1] Incidentally, their decision to celebrate the 4th on the 14th has wrecked havoc on their calendar. For instance: all French women are ten days older, per year, than they claim to be. Also, for daylight savings time, instead of “springing forward” and “falling back,” the French “winter sideways.” No-one has ever been able to adequately explain what this means.

[2] His least favorite is Valentine’s Day… makes sense for a 30-year-old celibate.

[3] In 1985 Guy Fawkes was voted the third most English sounding name ever, after Sir. Neville Periwinkle Winterbottom the Third, and “Ringo.”

1 comment:

Matt said...

Apparently I celebrate Good Friday every Friday!